Ethiopia in detail

Planning Tips


  • Lonely Planet ( Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.
  • Ethiopia: Land of Origins ( Improving government-run tourism website with good high-level information and inspiration.
  • Selamta ( Travel information.
  • Ethiopian Treasures ( Categorised information on history and culture.
  • Ethiomedia ( Range of sites covering news about Ethiopia.

Top Tips

  • Book your accommodation months in advance if your visit to a city coincides with a major festival.
  • Bring warm clothes if you plan to spend any time at altitude – the Simien Mountains, for example, can be bitterly cold at night.
  • Distances can be long – plan your trip to see a few places well instead of trying to see everything and ending up spending all your trip driving.
  • Check the latest security situation by perusing government travel websites and contacting tour operators, and make sure you're travel insurance is valid.
  • Avoid travelling in the rainy season if possible – roads can be either impassable or slick and dangerous, and visibility poor.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Check government travel advisories for the latest security situation.
  • Arrange for appropriate travel insurance.
  • See if your visit coincides with any major festivals, and if it does, book accommodation early.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months past your arrival date.
  • Inform your debit-/credit-card company that you’re heading away.

What to Take

  • Binoculars and wildlife field guides.
  • Mosquito repellent and malaria medicine for lowland areas in particular.
  • Yellow fever vaccination certificate.
  • A two-pin European-style adaptor.
  • Torch (flashlight) for camping and cave churches.
  • Multi-purpose Swiss Army knife and a compass if trekking.
  • Sunscreen and hat.

What to Wear

Ethiopians are fairly relaxed when it comes to dress, but you should still dress reasonably well.

  • While things can be extremely relaxed in Addis nightclubs, outside the capital, loose-fitting, light casual wear is recommended.
  • Bring at least one set of warm clothes if you'll be spending any time at all at altitude (which includes much of the north) as nights can be chilly.
  • At least one pair of sturdy hiking boots with good ankle support is also recommended, even just for reaching some of the rock-hewn churches of the north, as surfaces can be uneven.
  • Shorts are rarely appropriate.
  • Bring a good hat – sunburn can be a major issue, even at altitude – and a windproof, waterproof jacket.